2013’s Outbreak of Winless Teams

This is the final week of the 2013 college football season for most schools and these four beleaguered programs are down to their last chance to avoid humiliation.

It’s crazy when you think about it. College football is the one sport where you can buy a win. In order for a FBS team pull a 0-12 season it has to in a poor financial state or a bad team with injuries. In some cases both. We only had one winless team last year and sadly that is about to repeat history (Southern Miss).

We almost had five teams that were winless as Connecticut looked hopeless going into Temple Saturday. Somehow, the Huskies overcame a 21-point halftime deficit to knock off the Owls 28-21. Instead of a disastrous perfect season I’ll remember the 2013 Huskies for this nerdy time lapse video. Mission Accomplished.

These four teams are still trying to avoid the degrading 0-12 label.

Miami University (0-11) Final game: At Ball State (9-2) Friday

The RedHawks have been dreadful all season and has only been competitive in a couple of games. A touchdown loss to Akron and UMass is pretty much the highlights. That’s about as positive as Wiley Coyote boasting on how he came within five feet of Road Runner before the anvil fell on him.

The fan base has thrown in the towel too. Check out this stadium full of seats at the SECOND QUARTER!

Can Miami win a game? NOT A CHANCE IN HADES! Ball State has been carving people up on offense all year and is in need of a punching bag after losing at Northern Illinois. Enjoy the humiliation of a winless season Miami.

Southern Miss (0-11)at UAB (2-9) Saturday

While things are bad at Miami it is full depression for the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles. Southern Miss went 0-12 last season making it 23-game losing streak. Ironically, this school’s last win came in a bowl game in 2011 over Nevada. The Golden Eagles finished No. 20 in the AP poll that year. How do you go from a 12-2 season to the armpit of college football that fast? Southern Miss fans have seen plenty of depressing tweets like this during the past few months.

Can Southern Miss win a game? Maybe. UAB has nothing to play for other than the fact that it’s Senior Day. A turnover free game might allow the Golden Eagles to snap the streak even on the road. I give them a 40 percent chance.

Hawaii (0-11) vs. Army (3-9) Saturday

Hawaii may be winless but it’s not going down easy. The Rainbow Warriors have forced two straight overtime affairs. First San Diego State and then Wyoming. If you can’t find the humor of Hawaii being in the same conference as Wyoming then we probably can’t be friends. This epic showdown between polar opposite states was pretty much over when Hawaii couldn’t score in OT.

Hawaii has even tried going retro in its uniforms to score a win. It made this suggestive and awkward video to show off the renovated threads. Good luck counting the number of close-ups just below this player’s waistline.

Can Hawaii win a game? It should. Army will be making the absurd flight from the East Coast and that will be a huge plus to consider. Army might also look ahead to its annual duel with Navy coming up. It’s Senior Day and this squad is still playing hard. I give Hawaii a 55 percent chance of getting its first win.

Georgia State (0-11) vs. South Alabama (4-6) Saturday

I’ve been making fun of Georgia State for several times this season so why stop now? The program is a great script for an episode of Quantum Leap as Sam Beckett leaps into the athletic director to keep the school on the FCS level. When FCS Georgia Southern is having more success than it means you made a huge mistake.

The GSU Twitter account has been mentioned before but now it has done the unthinkable. It engaged in a Twitter war on game day. It all started when GSU tweeted about asking for retweets when it had a 17-7 lead against Arkansas State Saturday. The lead evaporated in the third quarter and Georgia State fell 35-33. The halftime tweet was seen as bringing bad luck to the team.

Whether the tweet brought about bad luck is not the issue. The fact that Georgia State is so desperate for something positive and is so insecure when challenged in a social media setting is the issue.

Asking people to retweet you is a sure fire way to not be retweeted. I don’t think a Twitter account for a SEC team would say “Boo you” to anyone. They simply wouldn’t care. The whole situation is sad, comical, and showcases Georgia’s State’s season all at the same time.

Can Georgia State win a game? Doubtful. South Alabama still has a chance at the six wins needed for bowl eligibility. A 6-6 record is probably not enough to get the Jaguars into a bowl game but they should play with urgency on Saturday. The odds are against the Panthers as I give them a 35% chance of winning.

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Desperation Football: Reaction to Auburn’s Hail Mary

CBS keeps getting these crazy games that always ends up being the talk of the weekend. Not sure if this means the SEC is the only league worth watching or that CBS has figured out how manipulate outcomes like Keanu Reeves in the Matrix. I’ll assume the latter until proven otherwise.

Anyway, Auburn somehow turned an insurmountable fourth and 18 Saturday into a game winning touchdown on this zany pass against Georgia.

Here’s how Georgia described the pass with fan reaction.

Between the Tigers’ good fortune, the Bulldogs’ bad defensive fundamentals, and CBS working the matrix, it was a breath taking play. On top of that it changed the BCS picture. Auburn still has championship hopes while Georgia’s season has been reduced to playing state rival Georgia Tech in two weeks.

Sure it was a great play, but was it better than the stunt Nebraska pulled on Northwestern two weeks ago?

That pass was a legit Hail Mary in the end zone as time expired. The catch will probably end up costing Northwestern a bowl game this year. You thought you had it bad Georgia fans.

Still, both plays are no match to this Hail Mary throw that crippled Kentucky fans everywhere (including me) in 2002. Fans were charging the field thinking Kentucky had won long after LSU scored.

Party in Kansas

Auburn’s touchdown was not the only wacky item of the weekend. A solid runner up came at Kansas where the Jayhawks snapped their 27-game losing streak in Big-12 play. Kansas dominated reeling West Virginia 31-19 as it had 31-7 lead in the fourth quarter. This is the same West Virginia team that handed No. 10 Oklahoma State it’s only loss on the season, but has since dropped five of its last six.

For Kansas it was time to party. Basketball schools like Kansas know how to make a big deal about the slightest football success. Those goal posts were coming down!

Ignore the fact you just beat a team that was only 4-6. Ignore the fact your program is asking Charlie Weis to save the day. Throw those goal posts into the nearest body of water you can find!

Another great example on how a college football game impacts people even when the teams have little to play for.

ACC struggles on the hardwood

It’s hard to read much into college basketball in November but it is noteworthy how the ACC is not off to good start. Boston College lost Toledo. North Carolina was upset by Belmont, and Notre Dame (ACC in basketball) went down to Indiana State. That’s about as bad as a beginning to college basketball season a power conference can have. We’ll see how it impacts the number teams that receive tournament bids in March.

Learning to like Nick Saban

60 Minutes did something I hoped no other media outlet would do. Make people like me stop hating Nick Saban.

College football needs someone who people root against. A Miami Heat, New York Yankees, or Dallas Cowboys if you will. Alabama football fits the bill and then some. It’s personal for me as I’m a Miami Dolphin’s fan. Seven years ago I was quoting the slogans he was uttering to the press. Miami was coming off some really poor seasons and everything Saban did and said seem hopeful and optimistic. Like President Obama talking to voters in Iowa in 2008. But like Obama, Saban couldn’t keep his promises and reflects on that at the eight minute mark.

It says something when a prestigious coach admits a mistake. When he does it makes it harder for me to cheer against him. When he left the Dolphins I wanted to make a dart board out of his face, or a BB gun target. This story though made Saban appear as… gulp… human. I wanted to keep viewing him as a caricature. For about a few minutes Sunday night I saw him as a person for the first time since he left my Dolphins in a trash heap.

I still want Alabama football to falter as I’m tired of the Crimson Tide having a monopoly in the football universe. But there were several things from the interview that I liked.

Talking about his high standards on how it affects team chemistry. If mediocre players don’t like elite players then you can’t have mediocre players on your team. That sounds good but only a handful of schools can score the talent that Alabama can recruit. In a way, Saban was indirectly tooting his own horn and coming across as a humble leader at the same time. Who else can do that? A politician? Clark Kent?

His attention to detail was brought up by how his father raised him. It made me feel sorry for Nick Saban. Wait, did I just type that?

At the ll:10 mark Armen Keteyain says “Saban has found the right fit at Alabama” while video shows Saban adjusting his pants. I think he’s still trying to find that right fit if you ask me.

The end of the story is Alabama’s win at Texas A&M. It gave CBS a chance to show off its coverage of the SEC and it even showed Saban being proud of his team. Another human moment.

I still may not like Saban but I am finding it tougher to hate his team. My college football viewing experience is sure to take a hit because of this. Darn you 60 minutes!